Are Home Cholesterol Testing Kits Accurate
The answer is yes if the tests are labeled CDC-certified. This means that the contents have been approved by the Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network, a group that works with test makers, laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure tests are accurate.
For home tests, you will still need to fast for 12 hours and to obtain blood for testing. Some kits come with packages for mailing to a lab for results. Other kits have a monitor so you can get the results at home. The cost of such home kits varies.
New Insights Into Cholesterol Functions: A Friend Or An Enemy
Cholesterol is a sterol synthesized by animal cells and is also a component of the diet, being present in food of animal origin. Its main function is to maintain the integrity and fluidity of cell membranes and to serve as a precursor for the synthesis of substances that are vital for the organism including steroid hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D. Although a high dietary cholesterol intake was considered as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases , recent evidence suggests that it does not increase significantly low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the circulation. Results, however, remain controversial, potentially due to the correlation with saturated fat intake. In view of these recent findings and the fact that cholesterol plays a vital role in major functions in the body, the special issue of Nutrients on Cholesterol and Health focused on the functions of cholesterol and the effects of dietary cholesterol in various metabolic processes.
How Is High Cholesterol Treated
There are several ways to lower high blood cholesterol , including lifestyle changes or medication, or both. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine which therapy is best for you.
Healthcare providers like to start with the least invasive treatments when possible, such as lifestyle changes. Youll be advised to:
- Avoid tobacco. If you do smoke, quit. Smoking is bad for you in many ways, and reducing your level of good cholesterol is one of them.
- Change the way you eat. Limit the number of trans fats and saturated fat. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and whole grains. Limit red meat, sugary products and dairy products made with whole milk.
- Get more exercise. Try to get about 150 minutes of physical activity every week, or about 30 minutes per day for most days of the week.
- Keep a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, talk to your healthcare provider about safe ways to do this. Youll see results even before you reach your ideal weight. Losing even 10% of your body weight makes a difference in your cholesterol levels.
- Reduce the effect of negative emotions. Learn healthy ways to deal with anger, stress or other negative emotions.
- Control blood sugar and blood pressure. Make sure you follow your healthcare providers instructions for blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes, and for keeping blood pressure in the healthy range.
- Atorvastatin .
- Simvastatin .
- Pitavastatin .
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What Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels
A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:
- Diet: Saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels. Try to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in your diet. This will help lower your blood cholesterol level. Saturated and trans fat have the most impact on blood cholesterol.
- Weight: In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, being overweight can also increase your triglycerides. Losing weight may help lower your triglyceride levels and raise your HDL.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can lower total cholesterol levels. Exercise has the most effect on lowering triglycerides and raising HDL. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Age and sex: As we get older, cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, womens LDL levels tend to rise and HDL can drop.
- Heredity: Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
Lower Cholesterol And Increase ‘beneficial’ Cholesterol With A Balanced Plant
- Exercise for 30-minutes, five times per week, has been associated with reduced LDL and supported HDL.
- Avoid tobacco as smoking can reduce HDL and increase LDL.
- Making dietary improvements such as including whole plant-based foods, reducing saturated fats, sugars, and processed foods can improve cholesterol issues.
- Limit alcohol as much as possible – ideally all together.
The following articles, resources and studies have either been used for research purposes in the writing of this article or as suggested furthering reading.
1 – Royal Society of Chemistry Journal Article: ‘Processing of oat: the impact on oat’s cholesterol lowering effect‘
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Why Age Is A Factor
The recommended ranges for your cholesterol will vary based on age and gender. As people get older, cholesterol levels rise naturally. For example, people who have gone through menopause may have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children’s cholesterol levels be checked between ages 9 and 11.
However, children with certain risk factors, such as those whose parents or grandparents have had heart attacks or been diagnosed with blocked arteries at age 55 or earlier in males or 65 or earlier in females, should be tested for cholesterol between ages 2 and 10.
You Dont Need To Avoid Eggs And Seafood
Some foods are high in cholesterol but are fine to eat in moderation, as long as your overall diet is low in saturated fats. For example:
- Egg yolks a single egg yolk contains 200250 mg of cholesterol, which is almost the uppermost recommended daily intake . However, reducing egg intake is probably not important for healthy people with normal blood cholesterol levels.
- Seafood prawns and seafood contain some cholesterol, but they are low in saturated fat and also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Seafood is a healthy food and should not be avoided just because it contains cholesterol. However, avoid fried and battered seafood.
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Who Develops Cholesterol Problems
Most cholesterol problems are passed down in families. Some families have low total cholesterol or high levels of HDL , regardless of diet or lifestyle. Other families inherit genes that increase their risk for high cholesterol. In these people, eating a diet high in saturated fat can significantly raise cholesterol levels. Stress can also raise blood cholesterol levels, especially since stress can lead to poor eating habits that may increase cholesterol intake.
How Can I Prevent High Cholesterol
Here are a few things you can do to keep your cholesterol under control:
- Eat a healthy diet that includes lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
- Limit drinks and foods that have a lot of fat or sugar, like sugary drinks, treats, and fried foods.
- Get plenty of exercise. Experts recommend at least 60 minutes every day!
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Why Is Cholesterol Important To Our Bodies
Every cell in the body needs cholesterol, which helps the cell membranes form the layers. These layers protect the contents of the cell by acting as the gatekeeper to what things can enter or leave the cell. It is made by the liver and is also used by the liver to make bile, which helps you digest foods. Cholesterol is also needed to make certain hormones and to produce vitamin D. Your liver makes enough cholesterol to meet your bodys needs for these important functions.
How Cholesterol Affects Your Heart And Body
Weve all probably heard at some point in time that too much cholesterol is bad for our bodies. But what is cholesterol? And where does it come from? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the bloodstream. Our bodies need some cholesterol, which is made in the liver. Cholesterol stabilizes the structure of cells and aids the production of some hormones and vitamin D. The problem comes in when we have too much cholesterol, or an imbalance between our good cholesterol and bad cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol:
When cholesterol is balanced, LDL flows in the bloodstream, and HDL carries the LDL back to the liver, where it is removed from the body. When we have too much cholesterol, the HDL is overwhelmed and cannot carry all the LDL back to the liver. The extra LDL builds up in arteries, where it creates plaque and starts to create problems.
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Effects Of High Cholesterol Levels
The liver is the main processing centre for cholesterol and dietary fat. When we eat animal fats, the liver transports the fat, together with cholesterol in the form of lipoproteins, into our bloodstream.
Too much cholesterol circulating within LDL in our bloodstream leads to fatty deposits developing in the arteries. This causes the vessels to narrow and they can eventually become blocked. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Diagnosis Of High Cholesterol
In most cases, your doctor will find your high cholesterol through routine screening. A lipid panel usually measures total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol.
Your doctor may order other tests to help decide whether medicines are needed to lower your risk of heart and blood vessel diseases. These may include a coronary calcium scan, which uses computed tomography to detect calcium deposits in the arteries of your heart, and blood tests for levels of C-reactive protein and lipoprotein-a.
The American Heart Association recommends routine cholesterol screening for all adults after age 20, but your doctor may order lipid tests more often based on your individual and family risk.
Your doctor will ask about your eating habits, physical activity, family history, medicines you are taking, and risk factors for heart or blood vessel diseases. During your physical exam, your doctor will check for signs of very high blood cholesterol, such as xanthomas, or signs of other health conditions that can cause high blood cholesterol.
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How Low Is Too Low
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in your blood. In the right amounts, it helps keep you healthy. You have two types of it in your bloodstream.
- Low-density lipoprotein is âbadâ cholesterol that can build up in the walls of your arteries over time. Most of the cholesterol in your body is made up of this type.
- High-density lipoprotein is âgoodâ cholesterol that helps remove the âbadâ kind from your bloodstream.
- Your ideal total cholesterol level should be around 150. Your LDL levels should be around 100 mg/dL. This range helps put you at a low risk of heart disease.
- Less than 120 mg/dL total cholesterol or an LDL level less than 50 mg/dL is very low.
How Is It Broken Down
Once in the blood stream, some cholesterol will be returned to the liver and broken down. Its used to make bile acids which are released into the intestines to help with digestion bile acids break down the fats in food.
A small amount of bile acids will be removed from the body as a waste product in your poo. But most will be absorbed back into the blood, returned to the liver and used again for digestion.
Some treatments for high cholesterol work by stopping bile from being absorbed back into the blood. The liver has to take more cholesterol out of the blood to make more bile, lowering your cholesterol levels.
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Getting Help For Your Child
If you are worried about your child’s weight, consider consulting with a registered dietitian or expressing your concerns with your pediatrician.
Children can benefit from getting involved in meal planning, shopping, and cooking, reducing intake of sweetened beverages, and learning how to eat more fruits and vegetables. Being a good role model and getting the entire family on board is also important for making changes and providing your child with confidence.
What Causes The Liver To Make Too Much Cholesterol
This author has been verfied for credibility and expertise
Cholesterol plays a vital role in cell membranes, movement of fat through the blood and the synthesis of certain hormones. Because cholesterol is such an important molecule, the human liver synthesizes cholesterol and distributes it throughout the body via the bloodstream. But genetics and dietary factors can disrupt the normal mechanisms that control cholesterol production and release in the liver, possibly leading to potentially damaging levels of cholesterol in the blood.
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Eat To Lower Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol isnt all bad news. Follow these tips to lower your cholesterol, the natural way.
Chances are, youve heard a thing or two about cholesterol. Having high blood cholesterol is a risk factor for developing heart disease.
But did you know that you can reduce your cholesterol level by making smart food choices? Its true!
Before we get to the details, lets be clear on what were talking about. For years, cholesterol has had a bad rep that it doesnt really deserve. The truth is, we need cholesterol to function. Your body makes most of the cholesterol it needs. The rest comes from foods you eat.
Heres the important thing: Dietary cholesterol found in meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products has less impact on increasing your blood cholesterol level. Foods that contain lots of saturated fat are the true culprits.
Now heres how to make nutritious choices to lower your blood cholesterol.
Keep eating simple
In the last 20 years, the rules on healthy eating have shifted. Super restrictive diets arent sustainable or the healthiest choice. Rather than zeroing in on a single nutrient, nutrition research shows the quality of your diet matters more. A diet filled with the right portions of whole, unprocessed foods can help decrease heart disease and stroke. What does that look like? For a healthy, balanced eating plan:
Cook at home
Choose more fibre
Each of these options will provide you with two grams:
- ½ ripe avocado
Signs And Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol on its own doesn’t usually cause symptoms. People often don’t realize they have high cholesterol until they get tested. However, the complications that high cholesterol causes do. As arteries and other blood vessels narrow and blood flow is slowed or stopped, every part of your body can be affected.
Uncontrolled high cholesterol can lead to the following complications:
- Atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of fatty deposits in your blood vessels
- Carotid artery disease, which is narrowing of the blood vessels in the neck that carry blood from the heart to the brain
- Coronary heart disease, which is damage or disease in the heart’s major blood vessels
- Heart attack
- Peripheral artery disease, which is narrowing or blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs
Symptoms of these complications can include:
- Fatty deposits of cholesterol visible from under the skin called xanthelasmas
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Ldl Cholesterol Vs Hdl
There are 2 types of lipoproteins that help carry cholesterol: LDL lipoprotein and HDL lipoprotein.
LDL, or low-density lipoprotein is a really small blob that has an outer rim of lipoprotein with a center of cholesterol. The majority of cholesterol in your body is LDL.
The rest of it is HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol. HDL transports the LDL to your liver. Here it is flushed out of your system.
Treatment For High Cholesterol
Lifestyle changes are one of the first things your doctor will recommend for managing high cholesterol. All medications can cause side effects, including medications to lower your cholesterol, and many people can successfully lower their cholesterol without them. Your doctor will determine which treatment approach is best for you.
Lifestyle changes that can help lower your cholesterol include:
- Adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase inhibitors
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Eat A Healthy Balanced Diet
The body makes all the cholesterol it needs, so people do not need to consume it from foods.
However, according to one 2018 review , consuming cholesterol from animal products does not cause cardiovascular disease. Instead, it seems to be saturated fat that increases LDL and the overall risk of heart disease.
Therefore, although eggs contain cholesterol, they are low in saturated fat and nutrient dense, so people can include them as part of a healthy diet.
Avoiding saturated fat and trans fat
To avoid saturated fat and trans fat, people should try to limit the
What Is Cholesterol And How Does Arteriosclerosis Develop
The human body needs cholesterol to work properly. For example, cholesterol is needed to make certain hormones and it is an important building block for cell walls. But too much cholesterol in the blood can sometimes mean an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol is needed by every cell in the human body. Most of it is made in the liver. Only a small proportion comes from our diet. The bloodstream transports cholesterol from the liver to the other organs and tissues in the body. Spare cholesterol is carried back to the liver in the bloodstream.
Although cholesterol is often referred to as a blood fat, chemically speaking that is not quite correct. But, like fats, cholesterol does not dissolve in water , so our bodies need a special system to transport it. Cholesterol is packed into tiny parcels in the liver. The parcels are made up of cholesterol, proteins, fats and other things in our blood. They can be transported through our bodies in the bloodstream. Because they are mainly made up of lipids and proteins, the parcels are called lipoproteins. There are two different kinds of lipoproteins, which differ in how densely they are packed:
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